Minimum standard of living cash requirements are higher for people living in rural locales.

More money is needed by people living in remote regions to fund their living costs.

Residents of rural areas need to take home up to 20% more money than urban dwellers to reach an acceptable standard of living, according to a new report.

The Commission for Rural Communities found that a person living in the countryside needs to earn at least £18,600 a year to afford a minimum standard of living, which is £4,200 more than a person living in the city. People living in villages need £17,900 a year and those living in rural towns need £15,600, indicating that the further people live from urban regions the more cash they need to live a comfortable life.

Dr Noel Smith, who wrote the report, said: “We were struck by the gap between how much people would need to earn to meet these rural requirements and the level of some of the wages actually available. Workers in the most basic rural jobs can work very hard yet still fall well short of what they need for an acceptable standard of living“.

The report concluded that people living in rural areas need extra cash to fund their transport costs because they live further away from work. They also have to meet higher energy bills because they are not always connected to mains gas and have to rely on other fuel options.

Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs said the findings show “that poverty is very different in different areas of the United Kingdom… that the sort of policies we need to tackle extreme poverty in, say, Tower Hamlets are very different from the sort of measures we need to tackle extreme poverty in the Shetland Islands or in Cornwall”.

He continued: “I think what it shows is that we need to take a very decentralised approach to tackling poverty, to welfare and to getting people back to work”.